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To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 3 April (HL6594), whether (1) the Tesla Model X, and (2) the Tesla Model S, have received EU or UK approval covering the use of the Tesla Autopilot system on UK roads; and whether revisions of that system are subject to any Government or EU approval before being deployed to owners’ vehicles via manufacturers’ system updates.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 3 April (HL6594), what requirements there are for UK drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel some or all of the time when semi-autonomous vehicle systems are engaged in vehicles with systems such as Tesla Autopilot.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 3 April (HL6594), whether the Europe Whole Vehicle Type Approval system assesses the safety of semi-autonomous driving systems supplied on vehicle models, such as Tesla Autopilot; and which vehicles with such systems are currently approved for public sale and use in (1) the UK, and (2) the EU.
The TESLA Model X and Model S have European Whole Vehicle Type Approvals (EWVTA) that were issued by the Netherlands. The UK is required to permit the registration and use of vehicles with EWVTA. The behaviour of the driver remains subject to national Traffic Law.
Regulation 104 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 (as amended) requires that the driver is in such a position that he can have proper control of the vehicle. Rule 160 of the Highway Code advises that a driver should drive with both hands on the wheel where possible.
New requirements that limit the time that a driver may remove their hands from the steering control in vehicles equipped with automated lane steering have recently been introduced into Type Approval. An optical warning is required if the driver removes their hands for more than 15 seconds and this is reinforced with an acoustic warning if the period exceeds 30 seconds. If the driver does not respond to the warnings the automated lane steering function will cease to operate 1 minute after the driver removed their hands from the steering control.
The Type Approval requirements apply to new vehicle types from 1 April 2018.
The UK is leading a UNECE Technical Committee that is developing Type Approval requirements for software that will include provisions to identify where the software has been updated. It is expected that these new measures will be implemented in Type Approval during 2019.
Type Approval records do not specifically identify individual features of the steering system and the Government does not hold data concerning the number of vehicles approved with automated lane steering functions either in the UK or in Europe.